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Walking Tall (1973)

Based on the life of Tennessee sheriff Buford Pusser whom almost single-handily cleaned up his small town of crime and corruption, but at a personal cost of his family life and nearly his own life.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Pauline
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Grandpa (as Noah Beery)
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Ed Call ...
Lutie McVeigh
Dominick Mazzie ...
Bozo
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Margie Ann
Brenda Benet ...
Luan Paxton (as Brenda Benét)
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Buel Jaggers
Russell Thorson ...
Ferrin Meaks
Gil Perkins ...
1st Bouncer
Carey Loftin ...
Dice Player
Warner Venetz ...
Stickman
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Storyline

A surprise hit when it premiered, Walking Tall carried the theme of one man standing up for his sense of right and wrong. Selmer, a small town in southwest Tennessee, served as the authentic background for the bio-pic of the heroic southern Sheriff. Joe Don Baker did an admirable job with the role, and the hugely violent film was a surprise hit. Former Sheriff Pusser himself was set to potray himself in the sequel, but he died in a car crash as he as returning from his contract signing in California. The sequel was filmed using Swedish actor Bo Swensen, and a Final Chapter triquel told of Pussers' demise. While the Walking Tall franchise will never be on any list of Classic Film, the original is a great slice of Americana, Circa '70s. It made Bakers' career and perhaps kicked the 'southsploutation' genre of that decade into gear. Written by rick rothermel

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Much like "Billy Jack"..."Walking Tall" smacks of real people in a Gritty Drama of One Man Standing Alone and Walking Tall! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

22 February 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Agrios, skliros ekdikitis  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The character of John Witter is loosely based on Carl "Towhead" White, who headed the stateline mob. It was believed that Buford Pusser had him assassinated. Louise Hathcock was his girlfriend. See more »

Goofs

When bartender Bozo and Margie Ann pick up the unconscious drunk outside The Lucky Spot, the drunk pushes off slightly with his right leg to help out with the lift. See more »

Quotes

Buford: [to his dad on why he gave up wrestling] It was a one-way street leading no where, Dad... It was organized dishonesty... It was the system. You win when they let you win, you climb the ladder when they let you, you breathe when they feel like giving you air... I got fed up with other people living my life their way.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Walking Small (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

Walking Tall
Sung by Johnny Mathis
Lyrics by Don Black
Music by Walter Scharf
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User Reviews

Standard Actioner
17 March 2002 | by (Chicago, Illinois) – See all my reviews

Yes Virginia there really was a man named Buford Pusser. He was a south Tennessee sheriff who was shot 8 times, knifed 7 times, survived a ambush, and even jumped onto a speeding car to make a arrest. The film, which was admittedly given the Hollywood treatment, looks at his exploits in a somewhat routine,somewhat gritty style with some surprisingly stirring moments. Though by the end when Johnny Mathis sings a ill advised syrupy song do you realize how emotionally manipulative it all really is.

Shot right in Tennessee and not some reprocessed Hollywood backlot. The excellent location shooting almost becomes a star in itself. However someone should have told the producers that even in the south the grass is not all green and the leaves aren't all on the trees at Christmas time.

Baker plays the lead role very, very well. Not only does he resemble the real Pusser, but shows some real fiery anger that's just lurking beneath the surface.

The action is intense, bloody, and well staged. Good for those who are game for this type of standard actioner.

It is interesting to note that the real Buford Pusser acted as a consultant to the film and then ended up dying in a very mysterious car crash just a year after the films release.


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